The oldest Macallan and Karuizawa bottled, and legendary Bordeaux, lead Sotheby's Wines & Spirits Sales on March 18, 2020
March 4, 2020: Offering the rarest spirits and wines, Sotheby’s is auctioning some fine examples of superb blends at its auction on March 18.
Sotheby’s Finest & Rarest Spirits feature the oldest Macallan and Karuizawa ever bottled alongside other landmarks in the world of whisky. The highly sought after Karuizawa 52 Year Old Cask's Zodiac Rat 1960, the most coveted bottle from this closed Japanese distillery, is fortuitously offered this year, the Year of the Rat. In 2018, a bottle of this Japanese single malt broke the record for the most expensive bottle of Japanese whisky ever sold at auction, superseded several months later by a rare bottle of Yamazaki 50-Year-Old 1st Edition.
Among the most notable bottlings in this auction is an impeccable array of old Gordon & MacPhail releases from previous decades with vintages stretching back to the 1930s, which culminate in a collection of four highly aged and very limited Crystal Decanters from the G&M Private Collection. These decanters have been consigned to Sotheby’s directly from the Urquhart family and each is number 1 out its respective outturn. A truly impeccable lineup of aged Macallan Whiskies ranges from an independently bottled 48-Year-Old through an unbroken vertical of The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Collection – six crystal decanters ranging from 50 to 65 years old to the inimitable 72 Year Old Genesis Decanter, the oldest whisky to be released from this exemplary distillery.
Wines from the cellar of George Ortiz (1927-2013), one of the world's foremost collectors of antiquities, are headlined by two cases of the legendary Cheval Blanc 1947, together with majestic parcels of Margaux and Latour from the same vintage, further red Bordeaux spanning five decades, and rounded off with Yquem from the 1920s. The 1947 vintage is considered the greatest Cheval Blanc of the 20th century, being both very powerful and beautifully balanced.
An Exceptional Cellar of French Classics features Bordeaux from the standout vintages of the 1950s through 2000 including myriad châteaux in the fabled 1982 vintage. The collection includes an abundance of large formats notably Latour 1955, Lafite 1959 and Haut Brion 1982, all in double magnum, whilest the Right Bank selection boasts two superlative duos: Petrus and Lafleur 1982 and La Conseillante and Vieux Château Certan 1989. Burgundy shines with an extraordinarily rare, complete 1985 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Assortment case (lot 227, est. £35,000-45,000).
Unearthed from Althorp House, from the private collection of Earl Spencer, comes a spectacular array of Bordeaux stretching from the 1990s all the way back to 1945, spotlit by a case of the stupendous Haut Brion 1989, together with first-rate Port and a superb selection of Cognac, in a wide variety of formats. The bulk of this collection was acquired by the current Earl Spencer's father and has never moved from the warren of interconnected cellars under Althorp House.